'Made in Agadir Zone': An ambitious vision of the future'.AMMAN "Made in Agadir Zone", is this a dream, or just an ambitious target for the future of the Agadir trade agreement, the pact designed to build a Euro-Med free trade area (FTA)?
"We would like one day to see products made in Agadir Zone, using accumulation of origin rules from industries in the four member states Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia and Morocco," says Waleed El-Nozahy, executive president of the Agadir Technical Unit.
Some seven years after the Agreement was signed, a group
of experts in the Agadir secretariat in Amman keep working to realize this dream, despite mounting obstacles.
The Agadir Agreement The Agadir Agreement for the Establishment of a Free Trade Zone between the Arabic Mediterranean Nations was signed in Rabat, Morocco on 25 February 2004. The agreement aims at establishing a free trade area between Jordan, Tunisia, Egypt and Morocco and it is seen as a possible between the four southern Mediterranean nations was signed in Rabat Rabat (räbät`), city (1994 pop. 787,745), capital of Morocco, on the Atlantic Ocean at the mouth of the Bou Regreg estuary, opposite Salé. , Morocco on Feb.
It aims at establishing a regional free trade area between Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia and Morocco, covering 115 million people. It also aims at promoting economic integration within this area, and with the European market.
Finally, the creation of a FTA area is supposed to enhance investment in the Agadir partner countries by eliminating barriers to trade and by facilitating investment; the overall objective of the agreement is to boost economic activity, to support employment, and to improve living standards living standards npl → nivel msg de vida
living standards living npl → niveau m de vie
living standards living npl .
Many technical issues are to be tackled by the four signatory sig·na·to·ry
Bound by signed agreement: the signatory parties to a contract.
n. pl. sig·na·to·ries
One that has signed a treaty or other document. countries with the EU's financial and technical support.
The European Commission has contributed AC8 million since the beginning of the process,investing in a Technical Unit that works on practical aspects: Legislative approximation approximation /ap·prox·i·ma·tion/ (ah-prok?si-ma´shun)
1. the act or process of bringing into proximity or apposition.
2. a numerical value of limited accuracy. , custom regulations, rules of origin, etc.
Three sectors were identified to kick start inter-Arab Med trade exchange: Textile, leather and automotive technology Noun 1. automotive technology - the activity of designing and constructing automobiles
engineering, technology - the practical application of science to commerce or industry .
Figures show a promising future.
Since the agreement's inception, intra-Agadir trade exchange has registered a 45% increase.
In Jordan, exchange with Agadir signatories jumped by 70% between 2007 and 2009.
During the same period, Egypt saw a 160% increase in trade with member states, while Morocco witnessed a 30% rise.
Despite the promising figures, experts and businessmen believe the agreement lags behind, as member states face an uphill battle to overcome political, legislative and logistical obstacles.
The four countries share no common borders, have outdated clearance and standardization legislation and suffer from high cost of transportation.
Such obstacles, they say, can stop the Agadir dream from becoming a reality.
Better focus on bilateral trade rather than aiming directly at the EU market,
EU officials in Amman insist that the accord is on the right track, despite the challenges.
"Total trade among these countries is 4% of their total trade worldwide.
This is very little, but it shows a tendency and trend for growth," says Bertrand Jolas, EC Trade and Transport Attache ATTACHE. Connected with, attached to. This word is used to signify those persons who are attached to a foreign legation. An attache is a public minister within the meaning of the Act of April 30, 1790, s. 37, 1 Story's L. U. S. and liaison officer for Agadir.
He calls on members to focus attentions on bilateral trade rather than aiming for the EU market straight away.
"By getting together, these countries can eventually be better off to produce for the EU market.
But this is still a long way off, as these countries have a lot of barriers between themselves," he adds.
Some Jordanian businessmen agree with this vision.
They say that a weak intra-Arab trade is not due to a lack in agreements, pointing to a 17-member Arab league FTA that has yet to be realized in full.
They are aiming at an integrated Arab market that emulates the EU experience.
"The Agadir agreement is better than the pan Arab agreement," says trader and exporter Talal Ghazawee.
"It is easier to establish business between two countries, to get the networking going," he says.
Businessmen also face tough obstacles abroad, saying that their exports to the EU have dropped, due to stricter rules of origin regulations.
At the CJC CJC Canadian Jewish Congress (Congrès Juif Canadien)
CJC Criminal Justice Commission (Queensland, Australia)
CJC Canadian Judicial Council
CJC Criminal Justice Center
CJC Commission on Judicial Conduct garment factory in Jordan's bustling Sahab industrial zone, Managing Director Sameer Maqdah says realizing the full potential of Agadir requires a reassessment Reassessment
The process of re-determining the value of property or land for tax purposes.
Property is usually reassessed on an annual basis. You may request a "reassessment" if you disagree with your assessment. of strict EU import regulations.
"Prior to 1999, nearly one third of my production went to Europe, but with rules of origin and other problems, I am finding it more difficult to export to Europe," he says.
"I do not know why we should build a business model on an agreement, rather than an agreement that addresses the business model that exists," he says.
Still, for countries such as Jordan, which suffers 14% unemployment and high poverty rates, the Agadir agreement could be the prescription for economic growth.
Fathallah Emrani, president of the Jordanian Textile Workers Union, says the agreement could be the answer to Jordan's unemployment, as the textile industry is labor intensive Labor Intensive
A process or industry that requires large amounts of human effort to produce goods.
A good example is the hospitality industry (hotels, restaurants, etc), they are considered to be very people-oriented.
See also: Capital Intensive, Trading Dollars .
"It is important to exchange goods among Arab countries.
This opens a new horizon, but this issue has not yet been treated seriously by putting political sensitivities aside," he remarks.
Emrani calls for an Arab League strategy to boost trade and remove regional trade obstacles, arguing that the Agadir pact cannot succeed with four countries alone.
Although the road to a common market is a long and winding one, experts say that as Agadir success stories take shape, more countries will look regionally in order to better compete on the global market. "If we manage to have Syria, Lebanon, Palestine and Algeria on board, Agadir will be the agreement we have all been waiting for," concluded Imrani
2011 Jordan Press & publishing Co. All rights reserved.
Provided by Syndigate.info an Albawaba.com company